The Daily Telegraph - Business : 2020-07-27

Total Football : 21 : 13

Total Football

13 The Daily Telegraph Monday 27 July 2020 ** Total Football Frank fumes as Ayew punishes Henry’s controvers­ial red card Fulham deserve to be rewarded with promotion, claims Parker By Jon West Fulham were promoted via the play-offs two seasons ago, but suffered a traumatic top-flight return with Slavisa Jokanovic and Claudio Ranieri both sacked and Parker moving up from first-team coach to manager, initially on a temporary basis. This season, Fulham recovered from losing both derbies with Brentford, most recently in their first behind-closed-doors game, to finish the season with five wins in an unbeaten seven-match run. That included a 2-0 success against Cardiff at Craven Cottage this month. “We can take a huge boost from beating them a couple of weeks ago,” said midfielder Josh Onomah. Parker insisted that also applied to Harry Arter, the on-loan Bournemout­h midfielder who is his brother-in-law. Arter spent the 2018-19 season on loan at Cardiff, who were relegated with Fulham, and was booed by the City fans on returning in August. Fulham drew 1-1, despite Arter’s 68th-minute exit following two reckless yellow cardearnin­g tackles. “He will be ready,” Parker said. “I don’t see any scars that suggest otherwise.” Scott Parker says his Fulham side are ready to be “rewarded” for their performanc­es this season with a return to the Premier League. Fulham had a slim chance of automatic promotion on the final day of the Championsh­ip season, but finished below West Bromwich Albion, who went up, and Brentford, who instantly became the bookmakers’ favourites to progress through the play-offs. Parker, whose side cross into Wales tonight for their semi-final first leg against Cardiff City, believes that only champions Leeds United proved themselves to be superior to his side this season. “West Brom and Brentford have been spoken about very highly, and rightly so, but we were level on points with Brentford and won more games than West Brom, who won 22,” he said. “We’ve done a very good job in that sense. What my team have done this year needs to be rewarded as well.” Championsh­ip play-offs at Liberty Stadium By Alex Bywater 1 Swansea City Brentford Ayew 81 0 Brentford head coach Thomas Frank bemoaned the lack of Var as his 10-man side were beaten by an Andre Ayew winner at Swansea. After missing a penalty, Ayew’s stunning strike means the Welsh side will go into Wednesday’s second leg of their play-off semi-final with the advantage. This game swung on a red card for Brentford’s Rico Henry after he had lunged in on Swansea full-back Connor Roberts. Frank criticised the decision of referee Keith Stroud to dismiss his player. “The red card changed the game and I don’t think it was a red card,” he said. “I definitely think there should be Var in these games because they are so decisive. “We are playing for promotion to the Premier League. Var would not have given a red card. The referee explained to me why he gave it, but I don’t buy it. We are 100 per cent going to appeal and Rico will play on Wednesday.” Defeat means Brentford have now lost their past three games after back-to-back losses at the end of the regular season cost them automatic promotion. They were the better and more dangerous side for long periods, but paid the price for not converting several chances, particular­ly in a goalless first half. “It’s not going to be difficult to pick the players up. I’m very proud,” Frank added. “We showed an unbelievab­le approach.” Brentford forwards Said Benrahma and Ollie Watkins should have put their team out of sight before the half-time break. Benrahma waltzed through Swansea’s defence but then shot over, and it was Watkins who had the best chance when he headed wide from Henry’s cross. Cardiff City v Fulham 7.45pm, Cardiff City Stadium, Sky Harris backs Cardiff ‘underdogs’ By Rob Cole wanted to evolve our style of play over time. We’ve certainly evolved as a group and I feel like we are on the right track. “In important cup games, when you play teams above you, you can play with a bit of freedom when you go in as the underdog. We’re coming into this particular ‘cup’ competitio­n as the underdog.” The big question is whether they can stop Aleksandar Mitrovic. With 26 goals in 29 Championsh­ip outings this season he is the main threat to Cardiff’s dream of a third promotion to the top flight in seven years. “Mitrovic is a big talent, their main man and we are aware of him. But we have big talents in our team as well and they will have to be wary of us,” said Junior Hoilett, Cardiff ’s Canada internatio­nal winger. When Neil Harris stepped into Neil Warnock’s shoes at Cardiff City in November he admitted the best he could do for the rest of the season was “hope” to reach the play-offs. Cardiff were flounderin­g in 15th place after winning only five of their 16 games and Harris was seen as a new broom. Since returning from lockdown they have galloped into the top six. After taking 19 points from a possible 27, they go into tonight’s first leg play-off semi-final against Fulham with confidence. Harris rates his side slight underdogs, but says they will play with no fear. “When I took over at Cardiff I didn’t make any promises, but I hoped we’d make the play-offs,” he said. “I thought we could have a good go at reaching the top six and I Rhian Brewster and Ayew were Swansea’s bright sparks. An already spicy encounter went up a notch in the second half. First, Brewster was felled in the box by Brentford captain Pontus Jansson. Ayew’s penalty was saved by David Raya. Then Henry was sent off. He was not in total control of his tackle on Roberts and the respective head coaches had differing views. A man to the good, Swansea finally broke through. Ayew and Conor Gallagher were involved and, when Jay Fulton laid the ball off to the Ghana captain, his leftfoot strike was deadly and accurate. Swansea head coach Steve Cooper said: “It was a clear penalty and my personal opinion is it’s a red card. You can’t be excessive and go over the top of the ball.” Ayew now has 18 goals this season and Cooper added: “The penalty miss was disappoint­ing, but Andre showed mentality of the highest order to brush it off and score the goal he did. We have a small advantage now.” Swansea City (3-5-2) Mulder; Cabango, Van der Hoorn, Guehi; Roberts, Grimes, Fulton, Gallagher, Bidwell; Ayew, Brewster. Gould (g), Celina, Dyer, Kalulu, Dhanda, Rushesha, Cullen, Evans, Garrick. Bidwell, Cabango, Brewster. (4-3-3) Raya; Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock Henry; Jensen (Baptiste 84), Norgaard, Dasilva (Roerslev 70); Watkins (Marcondes 70), Benrahma (Valencia 84), Mbeumo. Daniels (g), Canos, Dervisoglu, Jeanvier, Fosu. Jensen, Dalsgaard, Norgaard. Henry. Keith Stroud (Hampshire). Subs Booked Brentford Subs Booked Sent off Referee Results and fixtures In brief Sky Bet Championsh­ip Play-offs semi-final 1st leg HOME AWAY TODAY Sky Bet Championsh­ip play-off semi-final, 1st leg Cardiff v Fulham (Sky Sp, Friendly: Pts P W D L F A W D L F A GD Juventus Inter Milan Atalanta Lazio Roma AC Milan Napoli Sassuolo Verona Bologna Parma Fiorentina Udinese Cagliari Sampdoria Torino Genoa Lecce Brescia SPAL 36 16 2 0 45 14 10 3 5 30 24 37 83 7.45) Celtic v Hibernian (1.30) Swansea Brentford (0) 1 (0) 0 36 10 6 2 38 17 12 4 2 39 19 41 76 Ayew 82 36 12 2 4 51 24 10 7 1 45 21 51 75 WEDNESDAY Vanarama National League Play-offs semi-finals Sky Bet Championsh­ip Play-off semi-final, 2nd leg (Sky Sp, 36 13 3 2 44 17 10 3 5 32 22 37 75 36 10 4 5 36 27 9 3 5 35 21 23 64 7.45) Brentford v Swansea Harrogate Boreham Wood (0) 1 Muldoon 65 (1) 2 (0) 0 36 8 6 4 28 20 9 3 6 28 25 11 60 THURSDAY Sky Bet Championsh­ip play-off semi-final 2nd leg (Sky Sp, 36 9 3 6 28 23 8 5 5 30 24 11 59 Notts Cnty Barnet (0) 0 36 7 3 7 39 32 6 6 7 25 30 2 48 Dennis 37 Roberts 59 Fulham v Cardiff 7.45) 3 unless stated 36 8 5 5 26 25 3 8 7 18 23 -4 46 SATURDAY 36 5 7 6 24 28 7 3 8 27 32 -9 46 Heads Up FA Cup final BBC 1/BT Sp) Ladbrokes Scottish Prem: Sky Sp), VANARAMA.-North play-off, Semi-finals: Arsenal v Chelsea (6, 36 7 2 9 25 22 6 5 7 26 30 -1 46 Boston Utd 5 Gateshead 3-York 0 Altrincham 2. Havant and W 1 Dartford 2-Weymouth 3 Dorking Wanderers 2. Rangers 2 Coventry 0-Motherwell 2 Hamilton 2-Ross County 2 Livingston 2-Celtic 2 Ross Cnty 0. Aberdeen v Rangers (5.30, Dundee Utd v St Johnstone, Hibernian v Kilmarnock, St Mirren v Livingston. South Play-off, Semi-finals: 36 4 8 6 18 22 6 5 7 26 25 -3 43 36 6 6 6 17 21 5 3 10 18 28-14 42 FRIENDLIES: Vanarama National League North Play-off final: South Play-off final: 36 6 4 8 30 28 4 8 6 20 25 -3 42 Altrincham v Boston Utd. Dartford v Weymouth 36 6 4 8 24 26 6 1 11 22 34-14 41 36 7 4 7 21 27 4 2 12 22 37-21 39 SUNDAY Italy 36 6 1 11 21 31 3 8 7 23 37 -24 36 Ladbrokes Scottish Prem Sky Sp) Vanarama National League Play-off final: BT Sp) Brescia 1 Parma 2-Genoa 0 Inter Milan 3-Napoli 2 Sassuolo 0-Bologna 3 Lecce 2-Cagliari 0 Udinese 1-Juventus 2 Sampdoria 0-Roma 2 Fiorentina 1-SPAL 1 Torino 1-Verona 1 Lazio 5. Celtic v Hamilton (4.30, 36 4 5 9 27 37 4 3 11 20 43-33 32 36 3 4 11 20 33 3 2 13 14 43-42 24 Harrogate v Notts County (3, 36 2 4 12 15 37 3 1 14 11 34-45 20 Wembley,

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